A few years ago, Don Mare ended my Strat pickup quest for a mid 60's Fender sound with what came to be known as his "Josie/Vaughn" set. Point being, Don & I seem to have similar ears as he knew exactly the sound I was chasing when I said "mid 60's Fender"...and he came closer than any others I've tried. Fast forward, a couple years ago I decided to build a Telecaster, just for fun, when I saw the Stew-Mac raw knotty pine body's they just started selling to see where it would take me. For a neck, I chose an AllParts 60's style with rosewood fingerboard that I refretted with gold EVO wire and finished with clear poly. I had a set of Fender Custom shop Tele pickups laying around and threw them in the project Tele and it sounded ok...but nothing really special to my ears. Didn't play it much, but it was a fun occasional diversion from a Strat. Fast forward to a couple months ago, I stumbled across a killer sounding ash/maple Tele at my local dealer that sounded/played so well that it had to come home with me...which rekindled my interest in Tele's. It sounded so good right off the rack that I felt it didn't really need any modifications or improvements. And, of all things, it's a stock MIM, Fender, Baja model ! Ok, so that's a great Tele...then I got to thinking about the knotty pine Tele I previously built sitting in the corner and wondered if Don Mare could work his magic with it like he did in my Strat quest. So, I ordered a basic 1953 pickup set that Don calls his 4709's. The pickups arrived a few days ago and they took my knotty pine Tele from "ok" to "wow". Full, clear, dynamic, with no ice pick is the best way I can describe them...amazing! While I was at it, I wired in a 4way switch for series & parallel, and a pull pot for out of phase clucky sounds. Obviously, with one Tele being ash/maple/maple and the other being pine/maple/rosewood, they do sound very different...but they both bring something usable to the table. Personal taste...ultimately, I think I prefer the snap of the ash/maple/maple format in a Tele...but each does things the other won't do. However, I'm glad I put the Mare 4709 pickups in my pine Tele...made an ok Tele something special. Great job Don! Here's the knotty pine parts-o-caster in its current incarnation: And here's the stock Baja Tele that rekindled my interest in Tele's: Geez...I think I'm now hooked on Tele's .